On August 15, 2022, India completes 75 years as a sovereign, democratic and independent nation. The journey of India coming into her own, from uncertain beginnings to a world leader, is nothing short of remarkable.
India has emerged as an inspiration to the the rest of the world over the past 75 years. It has been able to do this through progress and breakthroughs in diverse fields – powered by over a billion people.
Freedom of Speech & Expression
The Constitution of India, a visionary document, enshrines many fundamental rights that have made this journey possible. Some of these have been very important in guaranteeing rights to people with disabilities. One such right is the one to Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19(1)(a).
The Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression guarantees that every citizen has the freedom to express their opinions and views through any medium. It could be through speech, writing, pictures, print or even through broadcasting.
Possibilities were expanded further for people with disabilities when the Government of India passed the Disabilities Act in 1995. Further, this act was replaced by Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
According to this law, people with disabilities are entitled to the same rights as other people and the government is responsible for facilitating their full involvement in society. They include free education and include special needs students into regular classrooms. Additionally, this rule mandates accessibility in all public areas, including buildings, schools, etc.
Are educational sectors having inclusive classrooms and curriculums best suited for students with special needs? Is employment for disabled people and inclusive workplace still a challenge? Are there only limited places accessible for people with disabilities? With the acts in place and the timely measures,we will be closer to being a much inclusive country in the making.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav
To commemorate the 75th Independence Day, the Government of India has undertaken an initiative called Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. It commenced on 12th March 2021, kickstarting a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of independence. It culminates one year later on 15th August 2022.
As the Prime Minister of India quotes “The Azadi Amrit Mahotsav means elixir of energy of independence; elixir of inspirations of the warriors of freedom struggle; elixir of new ideas and pledges; and elixir of Aatmanirbharta (self reliance). Therefore, this Mahotsav is a festival of awakening of the nation; a festival of fulfilling the dream of good governance; and the festival of global peace and development.”
The intiative has unique themes to it, namely:
- Freedom Struggle
- Actions@75 and
This theme focuses on our collective resolve and commitment to impacting the future of our country. One such initiative is Return to Play: Inclusion Revolution.
People with disabilities are frequently excluded from society’s activities. This initiative aims to motivate players to break their seclusion and “return to play.” With medical screening across 75 cities, Fit India Mission’s plan to to maintain good fitness levels and establishing 750 sports centres across the country, this initiative will be the driving force for an inclusive society.
This year’s theme is “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities” . This will encourage innovation and technology in multilingual education system. In addition, developments in this area can raise the standard of education for all students. Multilingual learning and education system will change the face of education in the assistive technology field too. With over 15+ languages, Avaz AAC has witnessed users embracing the multilingual opportunity to climb to higher levels of education.
This theme focuses on all significant milestones and personalities. One of the most memorable personality involved in a crucial parts of our nation building is singer Lata Mangeshkar. Her unmatched voice has sung many a patriotic song. From Jawaharlal Nehru onwards, she has had the opportunity to interact with every Prime Minister of independent India. She was conferred with India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 2001. Previously, she has also been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan (1999) and Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1989).
Music has a had a powerful role to play in our nation’s history and growth. Not to mention, it allows us a way to express our love towards our country in a heartfelt manner.
Sing with Avaz
At Avaz, we felt that AAC users should be part of celebrating the 75th Independence Day. Hence, we have put together a little something for the occasion! This August 15, all AAC users from India can sing India’s National Anthem.
We have customised a folder for you in Avaz which consists of our National Anthem with a pre-recorded voice. Tap the pictures on the customised folder to sing along our National Anthem using Avaz AAC and celebrate the joyous occasion with friends and family 🙂
All of us here at Avaz have been working towards making every voice heard across the globe. We strongly believe in building an inclusive society – and we are doing everything we can to contribute to this. With over a decade of experience, we have come to understand that this is possible only with an inclusive mindset.
This Independence Day, let us move forward with an inclusive mindset to create awareness, acceptance and inclusion.